U.S. Coast Guard Offloads Cocaine Worth Millions Seized In Caribbean Sea – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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The United States Coast Guard offloaded approximately 1 289 pounds of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of $11.7 million at Coast Guard Base San Juan recently.

According to a Coast Guard release, the cocaine seizures occurred after two separate vessel interdictions near Puerto Rico.

In addition to the drugs, officials also transferred custody of suspected smugglers.

The Coast Guard disclosed that the drug interdictions resulted from multi-agency efforts involving the Caribbean Border Interagency Group and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force.

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The most recent interdiction occurred during a routine patrol on April 11, 2022, after the crew of a Customs and Border Protection multi-role enforcement aircraft sighted a suspect vessel in waters northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Heriberto Hernandez that arrived on scene and interdicted a 25-foot go-fast vessel.

Onboard the vessel were four Dominican Republic men and six bales of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

The cutter crew apprehended the suspects and seized the contraband.

And according to the Coast Guard, during a routine patrol on April 6, 2022, the crew of a Customs and Border Protection multi-role enforcement aircraft sighted a suspect vessel north of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan diverted the cutter Joseph Tezanos that arrived on scene and interdicted a 30-foot go-fast vessel.

The vessel carried three men, Dominican Republic nationals, and eight bales of suspected contraband, which tested positive for cocaine.

The cutter crew apprehended the suspects and seized the contraband.

One suspected smuggler from this group, who required medical care ashore, was medically evacuated to a hospital in Puerto Rico.

The apprehended smugglers face U.S. federal prosecution in Puerto Rico on criminal charges of Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance and Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance Aboard a Vessel Subject to the Jurisdiction of the United States.

The charges carry a minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life.

Headline photo from United States Coast Guard

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